Record £440m funding for innovations agency

TSB300The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the UK’s innovation agency, has been allocated a record £440 million budget which experts say will provide a boost to the UK’s long-term competitiveness.

The funding boost, announced by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, represents an increase of more than £50 million on last year.

Technology areas that will benefit from the investment include renewable energy, future cities, advanced materials, satellites, digital technologies and healthcare.

David Willetts said: “The UK has some of the most innovative business in the world. The £440 million budget means that there will be more funding available than ever before for businesses across the country to bid for and help turn their ideas into reality – bridging the so called ‘valley of death’.” Over 60 per cent of funding is going to small and medium sized businesses which, he said, would create opportunities for businesses to grow and generate jobs.

Commenting on the announcement, Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturer’s organisation, EEF, said the decision to award record levels of funding was a positive move that should provide a boost the UK’s long-term competitiveness. “Innovation is a key driver of growth both for individual companies and the economy as a whole, but it is a challenging, risky process,” she added.

“However, record levels of innovation funding can’t just be for this year. The Spending Review has to provide certainty as well as sufficient funding, to ensure these critical programmes are maintained over the long term.”

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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